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Robotic Process Automation in Montgomery

6 minute read
Montgomery County seeks to enhance the efficiency of its governmental departments by avoiding duplication or repetition of tasks and saving time for more important functions, such as developing work procedures and customer service.
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Montgomery County seeks to enhance the efficiency of its governmental departments by avoiding duplication or repetition of tasks and saving time for more important functions, such as developing work procedures and customer service. To this end, the Montgomery County Finance Department collaborated with UiPath to design a fully virtualized Robotic Process Automation technology that employs the existing systems to reduce duplication of the Department's tasks.

The platform, launched in 2018, is a cost-effective way to perform routine tasks, thus giving employees more time to focus on other interests, such as career advancement. It also lifts their spirits and motivates them.  The platform's advantages do not stop here. It also maintains sensitive government data and protects them from cyber breaches since robots require a small number of data. On another note, robots decrease internal threats as well, unlike employees who can let their curiosity run wild to discover things outside their scope of work.

Montgomery County purchased three licenses to fund its Department. Employees of the Department of Finance began training these robots to learn the steps of data entry, a process that saved both money and time. Robotic Process Automation can perform duplicated tasks without error and in a short period of time, unlike employees who take longer for the same tasks. Algorithms are sometimes used to direct these robots and, at other times, robots are trained using artificial intelligence.

Since robots operate in a virtual environment to which employees have access, they take up less space in the devices they use and will achieve a ROI of 30% from the Robotic Process Automation. Robots are trained to perform many duplicated tasks, such as classifying tax refunds, updating records, etc.

Let us take processing invoices as an example. The automated robot receives an email with the invoice and asks the following question: Are these data complete or not? If the answer is "no," the robot asks for the missing data. If the answer is "yes," the attached file is scanned and the source is verified to check if it is reliable. If unreliable, the robot asks for help.

Robots operating 24/7 can execute these same steps for all invoices before any employee arrives at the office. Another advantage of using a robot for invoice processing is eliminating transaction backlogs, reducing the time required to complete procedures, and providing more accurate data.

The employees of the Department of Finance used the platform for automated data entry purposes, which saved both money and time. As a result, Montgomery saw several benefits from its investment in Robotic Process Automation, including the completion of a 20-minute credit card transaction in just 3 minutes, which would save 75 hours annually. The platform also successfully updated records in only 40 hours, instead of the usual 1000 hours, thus saving 960 productive hours for employees. Moreover, procedures related to the leave and salary system decreased from 8 hours to 20 minutes only, which would save a full working day. After the procedures related to the real estate annual tax refund required two minutes per transaction, it is now possible to complete 12,000 to 15,000 annual transactions per year, which is equivalent to one transaction every 10 seconds, thus saving at least about 350 working hours.

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